The Best Hidden Secrets of London – The London Economic
The London Economic

The Best Hidden Secrets of London

By Chloe Hashemi

Everyone claims that they know the ‘best’ places in London. But one of the beauties of London is that you can keep exploring for years and keep discovering secrets, some which may have been staring you right in the face.

A Night in a Gothic Clock Tower

Photo credit Air BnB

Photo credit Air BnB

Who stays in hotels anymore? A super unique and affordable Airbnb is where it’s at this summer. This Air Bnb property resides in the stunning interior of a clock tower and overlooks St Pancreas Station, a pretty central location for exploring the capital. The guest suite sits in a Sir George Gilbert Scott’s gothic revival railway hotel building dating back to 1868. Spice Girls’ debut hit Wannabe was filmed in the very entrance and staircase of this building, NBD.

Cockney Cash Machines

Cockney Cash Machines

If you happen to be in East London, and are in need of an ATM, you may find more than you bargained for; in the shape of cockney rhyming slang cash machine prompts. The machine will ask you to insert your ‘barrel of lard’ (your card) and will give you the option between a ‘Speckled hen’ (£10), ‘Horn a Plenty’ (£20) and a ‘Double Top’ (£40). This entertaining method of withdrawing cash from your bank account lies in seemingly normal-looking ATMs. There are 30 confirmed cockney cash machines dotted around East London. The perfect taste of British Culture which might even make you chuckle when you look at your unexpected bank balance!

The Rolling Bridge

The Rolling Bridge

If you have a keen eye for art or architecture, or both, the Rolling Bridge is definitely worth a visit. Located in Paddington Basin, each Wednesday and Friday at noon, the octagon modern art sculpture uncurls itself to provide a bridge across the Grand Union Canal. As the bridge spends most of its time coiled up like a piece of art outside the Grand Union Canal office, not everyone knows that once a week it transforms into something quite different.
Cocktails at a Grade II Listed Turkish Bath

Cocktails at a Grade II Listed Turkish Bath

Victorian Bath House

If you spend a lot of time in the Liverpool Street Station area, whether you commute to work and use the station a lot, if you work in the area, or you just pass through a lot, you may have noticed a rather intriguing looking building a two minute want from the station? But what is it? Some may say it is just a historical piece, untouched, some may say it is a fancy phone box… What could possibly fit in such a small space? An old Victorian Turkish bath lurks just beneath the surface of this newly erected building, just a short flight of stairs beneath the hustle and bustle of one of the busiest corporate areas of Central London. At the Victorian Bath House, you can eat, drink or host your own event in pure decadence, the interior of this hideout is even more impressive the its exterior.

Maltby Street Market

Maltby Street Market

A hidden nook where London’s most select and high quality food and drink purveyors gather on Saturday and Sunday mornings. You’ll find it under the railway arches in Bermondsey. A secret spot in South London which is gaining some recognition now, so I would advise that you get there quick! Before the secret is completely out. From Pic’s Peanut butter all the way from NZ, to London Dry Gin bar Little Bird Gin, to craft beers and ales, the market offers almost anything that tickles your fancy, whether you have a sweet tooth, or more of a savoury one. A perfect place for brunch, or just an afternoon bevvie in the sun.

Street Feast at Hawker House

Hawker House

Photo credit: scottgrummett.com

Whoever said street food was exclusively a summer affair? With Hawker House transforming into an indoor food market by night, you can now enjoy street food stalls, bars and music no matter the time of day or year. The market spans over two levels of culinary and boozy wonder (You can even try your luck at whisky roulette.) The atmosphere is one to be reckoned with, and it’s free to enter before 7pm. (£3 after.)

Mexican Food hidden in Soho Sex Shop

Mexican Food hidden in Soho Sex Shop

Who doesn’t love Mexican food? And it tastes even better then it’s eaten from an edgy hush-hush location in Soho. The entrance of La Bodega Negra is often confused with a sex shop, but what you’ll find inside is quite the opposite of what is described on the label. The exterior could have been plucked from Amsterdam’s Red light District, but inside you’ll find that you’ve landed in pure Mexican

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